Points of View

From RPA TO AI: The HfS Intelligent Automation Continuum

Jul 23, 2015 Tom Reuner

After several years of piloting, experimenting and marketing, we are seeing the maturation of the discussion around robotic process automation (RPA) and its relationship to intelligent automation overall. While some new and established market players are still looking at robotic process automation only in terms of FTE replacement in simple and unchanging tasks, there is a shift in the discussion toward seeing RPA as a means of moving toward process transformation. Unfortunately, as the discussion becomes more sophisticated, it is creating a great deal of market confusion. Software vendors with similar capabilities are adopting RPA branding. New technologies such as cognitive computing, which also impact process automation, are emerging. To top it off, the industry as a whole lacks a way to bring these developments together.

 

For some time, the job of educating the market on intelligent automation has fallen upon analysts and rogue service providers because the largest service providers were unwilling to educate the market on the capabilities and implications of RPA, maybe because they feared cannibalizing existing revenue. We are now seeing that begin to change as service providers start working with clients to see how process automation technologies can do more than just work to replace human agents doing exactly the same process steps, instead becoming new ways of shaping service delivery.


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